The Cave, more formally known as Cave Writings was founded in January 2015 as a space for Dublin-based creatives ‘to meet, fight, fuck, and drink.’ I founded and ran the Cave with D. Joyce Ahearne, James Bennett, and Andrew Kavanagh, my housemates in the ramshackle former B&B known to us and the Cave-dwellers as the Villa.
The Cave was founded as a response to the worrying trend in the Dublin-Lit scene that was rapidly retreating online. As new literary journals were founded each week, it became apparent that their connection with the scene was virtual, nearly all interactions taking place on Twitter. The Cave was designed to become an actual, and tangible focal point for the writerly set. A bi-weekly gathering for young creatives to sit in a room with one another, drink cheap wine, share work, argue, debate, laugh, and cry. We wanted to inject a sense of reality and the physical human into human relationships.
We were chasing 1920’s Paris and 50’s Dublin. And to some extent, we achieved it.
Beginning in KC Peaches, with free wine for readers and a healthy student discount. We migrated to the Ink Factory on the Quays when the free wine dried up. From the Ink Factory we moved to occupy several more spaces including the now shut-down Barricade Inn squat on Parnell St., a patch of grass in Sean Heuston park in the Phoenix Park, the sitting room of the Villa in Ashtown-cum-Cabra, Lililiput Press, as well as a week long occupation of the Molloy & Dowlings Opticians on Kildare street for our Cave Paintings ekphrastic exhibition that attracted hundreds of curious punters.
The Cave was defined by its anti-elitist, hyper-relaxed quality. As MC, I often didn’t know who would be reading till 5 minutes before the evening began, and that suited us perfectly. Casual to the point of indifference. A firm belief that ‘all will be grand’.
The Cave was put on hiatus as college loomed to a close for my co-founders and I. D has moved to France to work on his novel in Marseille. James is pursuing a masters in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia. Andrew has just returned home from several months in the Canadian mountains.
However, as it always was with the Cave, all will be grand, as the Cave returns tonight in Jack Nealon’s pub on Capel St. at 8pm.
Under new management, Leo Dunsker has been trusted with taking the Cave to new and extraordinary heights.
"With the first Cave of the year coming up things are feeling both untimely and quite timely-- the former because that's always the way with this sort of thing, and one wonders whether wednesday is by some miracle a day that nobody has off work, or something along those lines, but this doesn't to my mind detract from the urgency of it all in the least.
By the time I was really grounded in Trinity, Cave was already beginning to slow down, which is to say that many students in my year have a sort of distant view of the thing, knowing that it is or was significant but never really having been witnesses to the event that it was themselves. The most reassuring thing is that these same people, many of whom are quite talented and without a real outlet short of obscure and indiscriminate submission to journals, are likely to be in attendance; and if they show up, they'll be the ones who float things.
The ideal scenario, I suppose, is that I won't be reading at all, which is to say that nothing past what they say will really need to be said. On the most basic level, it’s about a public vision for writing and a confidence that the public life thereof will persist--and, so as not to seem naive, it behoves to clarify that what we're talking about here is "good writing"--and that forums like Cave Writings and the coalitions into which they bring the young artists in the communities which the former purport to serve have a real potential to bring forward voices that are always, in some sense, timely, urgent."
Cave Writings: The Homecoming - 8pm in Jack Nealons pub of Capel St.